Today, I finally landed back on homeland. The place I was born, and a place I’m proud to call home.
I never grew up here. I moved to Canada when I was 6 years old, with my family of course. We decided to make the move. It was for the better. A better lifestyle, a better education, and a better future.
When I first started school, at such a young age, I remember a strong sense of dislocation. I was out of place, there was no one that looked like me, and I thought it was wrong of me to look the way I did. At age 6, I wanted to change the way I looked. At age 6, I wanted to be someone else. At age 6, I tried so hard.
I didn’t know what it meant to be Korean, so I shamed it. It felt like that is what I had to do in order to belong, to assimilate. At age 6, that was my goal.
This affected me in ways that I never imagined.
It affects me today.
It shaped how I grew up.
It shaped the way I viewed my heritage, my culture, my people–and ultimately rooted a strong negativity about myself.
It was a seed that I didn’t know I was planting.
A seed that I planted, without knowing, that will only continue to grow.
Right now, It just feel like I’m nipping away at the leaves, but never getting the root of the problem. Maybe because I don’t know how, or maybe because I don’t know how to be without the problem–because now I identify with the problem.
This root that causes me to have suicidal thoughts.
Prepared for death, never scared.
Ready at any moment for my life to be taken before my eyes.
But now that I’m here, I feel strange, like I’m in a book. A story that isn’t real.
Like I’m only playing a role.
And I don’t know what my role is, never assigned.
I’m seeing people that look like me. Others to relate to. A place where I can be native. But I don’t know how to be.
Troubled with my identity.
Unable and lost in how to approach my journey to rot the root of my self-negative seed and nurture the one that’s in the shadow.
The one of my identity.